MR- On Tuesday, we visited Florence again and went to some of the gardens surrounding the Medici palaces. One of which was the Boboli Gardens behind the Pitti Palace. This was a gorgeous (and huge!) garden which displayed many aspects of a typical Italian garden, including symmetry, water (such as fountains or ponds), Italian Cypress trees and Boxwood plants. Symmetry is used to create perfect balance; no variation at all in color, shape, or any other elements from the line of symmetry. The usage of water here was mostly ponds with fountains in them. There was one beautiful fountain at the back of the garden that created a river/waterfall that followed the path. Dr. Lombardini told us that this was effective for hunting birds, because the water would attract the birds, then they would fly into the tall bushes to hide, where there were nets hidden to trap the birds. So the water had multiple purposes: beauty and hunting! In nearly every garden we've seen so far, there have been Italian cypresses. Even along the roads, and everywhere you look in Italy, these trees are to be found anywhere! In gardens, they are used to give height to the garden's overall look. Boxwood is used to create designs in short hedges. This plant is used because it is easy to trim while still staying full and green. There are many designs used in Italian gardens, even some mazes! Boxwood makes all of these easier and look clean and sharp. The Boboli Gardens were gorgeous (and hilly!) and I'm glad we got the chance to have this hands-on visit with class!